Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


‘Road Warrior’ Imitators of The Eighties, Part 1

Who doesn’t love the post-apocalyptic sci-fi films of the 1980s? If you define the subgenre broadly, you’ll count at least 100 such films. They include post-nuke films and post-pandemic films. They also include Road Warrior imitators.

For my next few articles, I’d like to cover these Road Warrior imitators; that is, post-apocalyptic films that obviously owe a large debt to George Miller’s 1981 masterpiece.

Compared with some other “imitation” subgenres that I’ve covered in this column (like Carrie imitators or Alien imitators), these Road Warrior imitators are a surprisingly strong bunch. Many are extremely low budget, and many are from Italian or Filipino filmmakers famous for their lack of originality, but all of them deliver what they promise.

If your priority is watching ragtag gangs with punk leather outfits and armored vehicles fight each other in a sparsely populated wasteland, then you simply can’t go wrong with any of the films on this fairly long list.

The Road Warrior was a critical and popular success when first released in late 1981 and early 1982, and thus the first imitators appear around mid 1982.

The Road Warrior grew increasingly popular on home video, so it was no surprise that Beyond Thunderdome became an even bigger hit when it appeared in mid 1985. Though Beyond Thunderdome was clearly inferior to its predecessor, its influence can be easily discerned in the later imitator films that feature duels, makeshift towns, and prominent female characters.

We should note that the post-apocalyptic subgenre can be traced as far back as Roger Corman’s Day the World Ended (1955) or Ray Milland’s Panic in Year Zero! (1962). More immediate predecessors include A Boy and His Dog (1975) and maybe Deathsport (1978). Then of course there was Mad Max itself (1979).

So The Road Warrior did not define the subgenre of post-apocalyptic sci-fi films; instead it defined its own sub-subgenre within it.

Note: I’m skipping parodies like She (1982), America 3000 (1986), Interzone (1987), and Hell Comes to Frogtown (1988). I’m also skipping space opera versions like Metalstorm (1983) and Spacehunter (1983).

Let’s lay out 10 hallmarks of The Road Warrior imitator subgenre and then get to the very fun films.

(Keep reading…)

Pages: 1 2 3

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

You May Also Like


Rumor: Live-Action Zatanna Movie In The Works According to DCEU Mythic, Warner Bros. Picture is reportedly in the process of developing a new live-action...


In the year 2008, the cops are better armed than before, but nothing has prepared them for this. Swift, sharp-clawed and deadly, something moves...


Produced by Alex Cox, Fernando Sulichin, Merritt Crocker Written and Directed by Alex Cox Starring Adam Newberry, Jesse Lee Pacheco, Christine Doidge, Eric Schumacher,...


From the team behind the critically acclaimed Life After Flash (the Flash Gordon feature documentary celebrating the 1980 classic), Life After Atreyu will not...